How often do you check outdoor security cameras while away?

Hello homeowners,

I’m interested in how often you check your outdoor security cameras while you’re away and how you discuss this with your sitters. Do you check the cameras regularly, rely on alerts (what kind of?), or have a different approach? Additionally, how do you communicate with your sitters about the frequency of these checks? I’d appreciate hearing how you balance maintaining security while respecting the comfort and privacy of your sitters.

Thanks!

While I am away (I am a sitter), it is only neighbours that would let me know if anything was wrong. And if they could do something, they would take measures.

There are practically no cameras here in Sweden. In many cases, it would require permission from the authorities, and they are very restrictive with giving such permissions.

As it happens, we talked about that yesterday with a Swedish colleague who lives in the US. He thinks about this when walking the dog. Do camera’s record him when the dog does its business? When he is picking it up from in front of the neighbour’s house?

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I bet it does. Almost every outdoor incident today is being recorded by some camera. You can see this by the footage provided almost instantly after something (bad) occurs. On one hand, it is very useful if you’re looking for a perpetrator, but on the other hand… :thinking: :thinking: :thinking:

I read a thread on here the other day where a PP stated that, on their day of departure, she checked their external camera at 6pm, 8pm and 9pm, and on noting the dogs had not yet been out for their evening walk, headed home at 9:30pm and turfed out the sitters at 01:30am.

I feel that cameras should not replace trust, and if trust is so sadly lacking, this is not the platform to use.

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Oh wow, wild story…
Absolutely, I share your view. Trust is a fundamental aspect of such arrangements, and surveillance should not replace the mutual confidence needed between homeowners and sitters. It’s crucial to establish clear communication and expectations upfront to avoid such situations.

I understand as a sitter why some might have security cameras outside, but knowing I’m potentially being recorded does make me feel quite uncomfortable and influences my behavior—not necessarily for the better, just differently. It makes me wonder why such measures are necessary if I’m at home approx for 22 hours a day and the animals are alone for only 2 hours (while grocery shopping or me going to the gym), during which they would anyway alert to any strangers approaching. It feels excessive and somewhat undermines the trust needed for this kind of arrangement.

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So, I’m a homeowner here…

I have a front door camera for my luxury apt. I get alerts to my phone when it records motion whenever someone goes past my front door.

I have noted the camera in my profile. I don’t have any cameras inside my place.

I have a camera to protect my household. A few months ago, I had a sitter. She was great… At least I thought she was. She asked me if her partner could come over (In my profile, I have absolutely no visitors or guests). I reiterated that visitors and guests are not allowed in my apt, however I was nice enough to say that her partner could visit my community lounge.

Well guess what? After I wrote a great review for the the sitter, I found a $ex toy wrapped up in some blankets. I was absolutely so disgusted and I wished I found it before not after my review.

So now, yup, I have a Google Doorbell to make sure no one unauthorized is in my apt. If a sitter has a problem with this, they can decline. No one is being forced to accept a sit. I’m very honest and transparent and I explain to sitters why I have a outdoor camera during my video chat.

I’m not sure I understand your question of how would I communicate the checks. For me, I’m not combing footage, but also, I don’t feel the need to communicate with my sitters everytime I get an alert. They know it’s there.

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Maybe read the whole story.

I’m not sure why the presence of a “$ex toy” means there was a third party present.

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We are in the process of buying and installing cctv outside cameras.
My apartment is in an old building with 8 flats in it. Each flat has a private parking space. We have 3 huge communal rubbish bins. We have had to go to the expense (£1000 approx) of installing a camera system. The car park is private. There are numerous notices to this effect. We all have locked parking posts so theoretically no one can park in our space without the code. Wrong. Most of the flats are on short term rents (think Airbnb). Guests can’t be bothered to use the parking posts leaving the spaces open so anyone can park there. The next guest arrives and can’t park because a random car is in their allocated space. Que, huge argument.
And now the one that made this expensive decision necessary. Our rubbish bins are filling up faster than usual - emptied on Friday, overflowing on Sunday morning. My neighbour caught one of the culprits backing their car up to our utility area, getting out then emptying a load (estate car with back seat down) of rubble and garden waste. No remorse when challenged. I do this all the time!
And that’s why people have outside cameras. Nothing to do with checking up on the pet sitter or spying on how many times you stagger home at 2am. The police aren’t interested, they’re too busy dealing with real crime. Blame the entitled society we live in.

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I understand your concern about unauthorized guests, especially when clear rules are set. However, discovering a $ex toy and assuming it’s related to the sitter’s partner might be a bit of a leap. It could just as easily belong to the sitter herself. As adults, sitters should be allowed a degree of privacy, and dictating a $ex-free environment in their temporary home seems unreasonable. Many sitters, including myself, often take on sits for several weeks at a time, and it seems unrealistic to expect complete abstinence during these periods. Surely, there must be a balance between homeowner security and sitter privacy.

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It certainly sounds like you have valid reasons for installing CCTV outside your building. I completely understand the necessity given your parking and rubbish disposal issues. This kind of surveillance is practical and serves to protect the property and its residents from misuse and disruption.

Regarding indoor cameras, I agree that honest communication and clear explanations about the presence of cameras should solve most concerns. I once had a sit where there were indoor cameras that activated with motion after 11 PM. As someone who is naturally a night owl, I didn’t appreciate feeling monitored or, alternatively, feeling pressured to go to bed early. It’s important for homeowners to consider the comfort and privacy of their sitters, just as sitters respect the homeowners’ property and rules. A good balance and mutual understanding can definitely ensure a positive experience for both parties.

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@Maria_Mike indoor cameras and monitoring devices are NOT permitted on sits with THS - so no discussion to be had other than a reminder that they must be disabled for the duration of the sit .

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@Maria_Mike We have two exterior cameras: a doorbell camera and a camera pointed at our back door and the window next to it (because they are kind of hidden from public view). This is fully disclosed in our listing.

What’s also disclosed is that I disable my phone alerts when we’re away because we have caring sitters at home. We talk about all of this during video chats with potential sitters.

We have no inside cameras or listening devices and also state that in our listing.

P.S. - We are sitters as well as HOs.

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But that’s the problem isn’t it, we can only ever hear one side of stories like these.

We’ve done sits where there are exterior cameras. I doubt very much that the PPs used them to monitor how often, and for how long, we took the dogs on walks or played with them outside, but we were conscious of them being turned on. If we’d ever have received communication relating to them being used to monitor us, it would have been perceived as an immediate intrusion of privacy and total lack of trust.

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Would it have made you felt better if they explained why they had the outside security cameras? I think their name explains the reason …… security camera.
I have never had a problem with ring door bells or outside security cameras. In the UK we are aware we are being monitored in most areas. However, inside cameras, switch them off or we walk out! But do you really think they want to view a couple of old “wrinkles” first thing in the morning drinking their first cup of coffee …… naked? Whatever floats their boat!

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But I have never understood how a camera would provide security.

Has the explosion of cameras in the UK had any effect?

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Yes. It stops people parking in private parking spaces and dumping rubbish in private rubbish bins

Mechanical barriers like bollards and wheel clamps and locks could do that.

A camera does not.

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Because it was something that would only be used with a partner. You wouldn’t use this solo at all

This wasn’t a toy that you would use solo. So to be honest, you made quite an assumption yourself lol. I don’t need to go into details, but this would only be used with a partner, so your theory goes out the window.

The fact that I said no guests at all but gave leeway with having guests in the common areas and rules were broken. Nope, that’s done.

As I said, sitters know I have an outdoor camera and I have no problems getting sitters. It’s your right to not accept sits that have outdoor cameras just as it’s my right to have one. Everyone has free choice regarding this matter on this platform.

No one should be doing anything that they aren’t comfortable with. I don’t even see the need to get into a debate about it as there is always full disclosure